The Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 will have a different driver behind the wheel for this weekend’s Sprint Cup activities at the Loudon, New Hampshire based track.
Concussion Symptoms, Not Allergies
In unexpected news, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. will not race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He is suffering from concussion-like symptoms. Last week, Earnhardt visited his doctor with symptoms he though were allergy related. He also visited a neurologist and found out yesterday that he is not cleared to race this weekend.
Alex Bowman, who drives for JR Motorsports in the Xfinity series will drive the No 88 for the New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s practices, qualifying, and ultimately the race on Sunday afternoon.
History of Concussions for Jr.
The 41-year-old driver last missed a pair of races back in 2012 after being involved in a big crash at Talladega. Earnhardt missed the fall races at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway in 2012, before returning in time for the fall Martinsville Speedway race. Like many injuries, after sustaining the first concussion, subsequent ones happen easier. This sounds to be the case with Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
Earnhardt released the following statement about missing the New Hampshire race:
“I’m disappointed about missing New Hampshire this weekend. I’m looking forward to treatment with the goal of getting back in the race car when the doctors say I’m ready.”
Team owner, Rick Hendrick said Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s health is the primary concern going forward.
“I’m proud of Dale for standing up. The number-one priority is his health, so we’re going to five him all the time he needs. We completely support the decision by the doctor and will be ready to go win races when he’s 100%. In the meantime, we have full confidence in Greg and the team, and we know then will do a great job.”
Back in April, Dale Earnhardt Jr. announced he will donate his brain after his passing to assist scientific research. Specifically, Earnhardt said he will donate his brain to science to allow for further research for athletes who have had concussions.
Announcements have not been made yet about how long Earnhardt will be out. Announcements will be made later on who will fill in the No. 88 in subsequent weeks.
I appreciate everyone's support and prayers and will miss my team terribly this weekend. I'm working with some great doctors to get well.
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) July 15, 2016
Source: Fox Sports – Dale Earnhardt Jr. to miss race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway